Each November, countries across the globe come together for World Prematurity Day to call attention to the babies who were born too early and the immediate and long term health challenges they face; and to acknowledge their families and healthcare providers. Premature birth and its complications are the main cause of newborn deaths in the world. More than 1 in 10 infants are born prematurely, resulting in an estimated 15 million preterm births per year, and sub-Saharan Africa bears a disproportionate uneven high burden of these births. It has been further estimated that nearly one million preterm newborns die in sub-Saharan Africa each year, mostly from a lack of equity in healthcare resources to provide the needed interventions. The theme for this year’s celebration is, ‘Together for babies born too soon: caring for the future.’ This is still an urgent health crisis, made all the more challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic. We must raise awareness and not lose momentum toward achieving global goals for newborns.

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